Thursday, May 13, 2010

The False Economics of Child Care

What is child care?
The delegation of responsibility of raising your child to another.

When is child care good?
- When provided by a grandparent, aunt or uncle on a limited time basis.
- When provided by a quality babysitter on a *very* limited time basis.

Where is the false economy?
Dad works full time, pulls in $70K/year. With an additional $50K/year, the family could move to a larger house which better suits the needs of the children. Mom's salary, $70K/year, minus child care costs of $20K/year, leaves the extra $50K/year needed to get that house.

But are children better suited to day-care and the bigger or better house?
How is that $20K/year for child care costs arrived at?
- Economies of scale. Instead of one mom watching three children, one pseudo-mom watches 5, 10, or 20 children.
- Does a child need more than 1/5th of a pseudo-mom at all times?

Economic model validating stay-at-home parent:
- How much would it cost for a 1:3 care/child ratio per annum, which would at least provide adult/child ratios equal to stay-at-home parent?
- What is the cost of motivating a child care employee to provide attention approximating that of a parent?
- Why spend so much of your life seeking the spouse who will properly help raise your children if you're just going to send that person out to plow the fields and subcontract out the child raising anyways?
- Why should your spouse have gone to university and achieved degrees and whatever professional accomplishments if those are not primarily purposed to rear your children in your spouse's likeness?
- I spent all this time and trouble to marry a brilliant spouse with an advanced degree, and then I'll hire a GED or AA graduate to teach my children the skills they need?

Day care makes absolutely no sense!
Drop the second job!
Get the smaller house!
Buy the domestic car!
Live in the mainstream school district!
Eat the chuck roast instead of the NY strip!
Guests can stay on the couch, they don't *need* their own room!
Keep your kids close!

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